Good morning Longbranch.
According to nationalgeographic.com, today’s summer solstice stands out because it will be followed shortly by the largest “supermoon” of the year. On Sunday, the moon will officially reach its full phase and will be the closest to earth that it will be all year.
The moment the moon is closest to earth will be at 4:32 a.m. Sunday, as the moon is setting.
The website earthsky.org writes: “We astronomers call this sort of close full moon a perigee full moon. The word perigee describes the moon’s closest point to Earth for a given month. Two years ago, when the closest and largest full moon fell on March 19, 2011, many used the term supermoon, which we’d never heard before. Last year, we heard this term again to describe the year’s closest full moon on May 6, 2012. Now the term supermoon is being used a lot. Last month’s full moon — May 24-25, 2013 — was also a supermoon. But the June full moon is even more super! In other words, the time of full moon falls even closer to the time of perigee, the moon’s closest point to Earth. The crest of the moon’s full phase in June 2013, and perigee, fall within an hour of each other.”
How often do “supermoons” occur? Well, according to the website, it comes around every 1 year, 1 month, and 18 days. The full moon and perigee will realign again Aug. 10, 2014. It also says that all full moons bring with it higher-than-usual tides, and perigee full moon bring the highest (and lowest) tides of all.
“Lunatics arise! ‘Super moon’ rules this weekend” screams a headline in the website washingtonpost.com. But fret not, according to livescience.com, the perigee full moon will not drive you mad.
“The supermoon gets blamed for all manner of worldly happenings, from the sinking of the titanic to japan’s earthquake and tsunami of 2011. But Earth science experts say linking geological events to the full moon is foolish. The gravitational changes created by a few tens of thousands of miles of difference in distance between the moon and Earth aren’t enough to alter tectonic forces in any meaningful way,” it says on the website.
“For centuries legend has held that full moons make people go crazy,” the website explains. “Full moons have been linked in popular culture with a rise in suicides and even epileptic seizures, but there’s little to no scientific evidence backing these ideas up.”
So, there you have it. We will see (maybe, if the clouds part by Sunday morning) a super moon to celebrate a rather sane super summer.
It is currently 55 degrees and the weather geeks are saying our high today may reach 72. Expect a little more sunshine for Saturday and Sunday.